Enhancing educational opportunities for ethnic minorities in Vietnam


    May 26, 2021


    The Signify Foundation teamed up with UNESCO and the education departments in three Vietnamese provinces to provide solar lighting to more than 5,000 students in 16 lower secondary schools.

    For the ethnic minority communities in Vietnam’s remote and mountainous areas, limited access to electricity is a significant barrier to education. Poor lighting at home and in boarding facilities can negatively affect learning. Additionally, many students need to walk unlit paths to and from school.

    These factors contribute to high drop-out rates: one UNESCO study shows that nearly half of the upper secondary school-aged ethnic minority children remained out of school in 2019.

    The Signify Foundation, along with Signify Vietnam, UNESCO and the Departments of Education and Training of the Ha Giang, Ninh Thuan and Soc Trang provinces, equipped more than 5,000 ethnic minority students of 16 lower secondary schools in remote, mountainous, and disadvantaged areas with innovative lighting systems. This initiative was part of the ‘Lighting up the Future of Ethnic Minority Communities in Vietnam’ project.

    Lighting up the Future of Ethnic Minority Communities in Vietnam Project

    Bright lights to help bright minds


    The goal of the project was to improve access to education for underprivileged young people. As Nguyen The Binh, Director of Education and Training Department, Ha Giang Province says, “By providing underprivileged students with better educational resources, we encourage them to enjoy school more – and stay longer in the education system.”

    Philips Lifelight luminaires are uniquely designed to support the needs of people in off-grid communities"

    Apart from 7 Philips SunStay streetlights for schoolyard lighting; and hundreds of LED tubes and bulbs for classrooms, 1,900 Philips LifeLight portable solar lanterns were provided. These handy light sources are uniquely designed to support the needs of people in off-grid communities. They can be charged at school during the day –  eight to ten hours of direct sunlight (depending on weather conditions) fills their batteries.

    Once charged, they can provide light for doing homework in the evening, as well as other nighttime activities: one lantern provides up to 20 hours of lighting, depending on the lumen output users choose. They also provide the option of different lighting levels, and a USB port for charging phones and other devices.

    Through the provision of sustainable lighting solutions, the project promotes better access to education and reduces school drop-out rates. As Michael Croft, UNESCO Representative to Vietnam states, “It’s so easy for many of us to take it for granted, but having more light translates to more opportunities in the future for these deserving youth.”

    We made lighting smarter and more connected in homes and on streets throughout New York State. We worked in Vietnam and in the U.S. to improve education for bright minds. We took pioneering steps in lighting for indoor crop cultivation in Russia, and sustainable shopping experiences in the Netherlands.
    Read the press release.

    About the author:

    Ryan Millar

    Ryan Millar

    Chief Editor


    For further information, please contact:

    Signify Global Integrated Communications
    Neil Pattie
    Tel: + 31 6 15 08 48 17

    About Signify


    Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals, consumers and the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. In 2023, we had sales of EUR 6.7 billion, approximately 32,000 employees and a presence in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for seven consecutive years and have achieved the EcoVadis Platinum rating for four consecutive years, placing Signify in the top one percent of companies assessed. News from Signify can be found in the Newsroom, on X, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors is located on the Investor Relations page.

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